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Phone Rental for Italy

Old Nov 22nd, 2010, 08:44 AM
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Phone Rental for Italy

My daughter is planning a Spring semester in Italy. We have Verizon here, but even they tell her to get her own rented Italian phone. We plan to regularly communicate with her via Skype, so the phone there will have a limited usage.

There's a NY company I used in the past, TravelCell, which can rent her a phone for $20 a month, all incoming calls or SMS are free, outgoing: 89c / min, and 80c per text message.

Insurance is 25c a day.

So without usage it's gonna be about $83 for the duration of 3 months.

This seems logical, but before deciding, what kinds of options are available as far as renting a phone in Italy, once landing in Rome?

Thanks.
mamamia2 is offline  
Old Nov 22nd, 2010, 08:54 AM
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I was able to buy a mobile phone for less than $40 with rates similar to what you mention. Granted, it’s a no frills phone, but if she’s primarily using Skype, she probably won’t care. Take a look at www.telestial.com.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2010, 10:59 AM
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It makes more sense to get a local phone when you get there. And a calling card for LD if necessary.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2010, 11:22 AM
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There also options to get her own unlocked GSM phone with 900/1800mhz capability. You can either buy one - search "unlocked quadband gsm" or ask friends or relatives who might have an old unlocked quadband phones used on ATT Wireless or T-mobile networks ready to be recycled. Just buy a SIM card in Italy. US only models operate only on 850/1900mhz and are useless in Italy.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2010, 11:27 AM
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Don't rent -- have her buy a basic phone with a pay-as-you go SIM when she gets to Italy. She can add value to it as needed. After she returns to the US, your family will still have the phone for use on future trips to Europe, you'll just have to buy a local SIM on the next trip (if her Italian SIM expires for inactivity in the intervening time).
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Old Nov 23rd, 2010, 08:55 AM
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I posted this in August -

You should look at getting a phone that operates on the UMTS network and accepts Skype mobile. Then get a pay as you go (PAYG) SIM card with the Three network.

They are currently offering a phone - Samsung Pocket at Euro 49. The best PAYG tariff is called 3Power 10 which means -
10 cents a minute for calls to all Italian numbers, no fixed per call connection fee and 10 cents per sms. This tariff costs a one off Euros 5. A SIM card cost Euros 10 and has Euros 5 of credit included.

You should then ask for the Super internet option which costs Euros 5 per month but is actually free the firts month! This will enable you to download 3GB a month and make up to 600 minutes of Skype calls a day. I think this should be sufficient!

It is important to benefit from the data tariff that you are under the Three network coverage so make sure that your phone's network coverage is set to manual rather than automatic.


Now their cheapest phone is only Euros 39. I don't think you will find a better deal on calls in Italy as well as being able to call the US using Skype.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2010, 10:56 AM
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As "greg" was saying get an unlocked GSM phone with 900/1800mhz if you don't own one already. Most newer phones have quad frequency built in (it's cheaper for manufacturers to make them compatible with all markets). If you do own one then get unlock code on ebay for couple of bucks. If not then you can buy inexpensive phone there also. I always use my own phone and buy local prepaid SIM on arrival.

http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/italy.html

Also if you daughter owns Itouch then Skype mobile app can be used where WIFI is available.
hkto is offline  
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